Tax Certificate Sales
Beginning on or before June 1, the Tax Collector is required by law to hold a Tax Certificate Sale. The tax certificate represents a lien on unpaid real estate properties. Interest accrues on the tax certificate from June 1 until the taxes are paid. The amount of the certificate is the sum of the unpaid real estate tax and the non-ad valorem assessments, penalties, advertising costs and fees.
Tax certificates are not sold on parcels of land with a Homestead exemption with taxes less than $250.
Tax certificates are not knowingly sold on parcels of land involved in bankruptcy or litigation. If either occurs after a certificate is issued, the court may determine the amount of interest to be paid. Bankruptcy and litigation may extend the life of a certificate and places an automatic hold on the tax deed application process.
Tax Deed Applications and DeedExpress
Tax certificate holders can obtain tax deed application cost estimates and apply for tax deeds online on DeedExpress.
The tax certificate holder is entitled to submit a tax deed application after two years since April 1 of the year the tax certificate was issued and before seven years from the date the tax certificate was issued. The applicant is not guaranteed title to the property. This will be determined by the Tax Deed Section of the Miami-Dade Clerk of the Court when the tax deed foreclosure sale has ended. The tax deed application must be submitted through DeedExpress.
If you already have a user ID on any LienExpress site, or are registered for Palm Beach or St Lucie County foreclosure or Tax Deed sales, you may use the same User ID and password. If you don't have a User ID, pcomplete the online registration form on the DeedExpress website. After you have logged in, you can retrieve your certificate information by entering your bidder numbers and associated Tax IDs for each county that you hold certificates.
Some of the key features of DeedExpress include:
- Ability to quickly get estimates for issued certificates, as of any current or future date
- Online submission of certificates to surrender for deed application
- Online application of payments
- Online refund requests
- Real-time updates on status of certificates and deed applications
- E-mail notifications when important actions are completed on DeedExpress
- Electronic signing of DR-512 forms
If you need assistance, call 1-866-247-4370 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Tax Certificate Sale Disclaimers
- There are inherent risks involved in purchasing tax certificates. Miami-Dade County does not guarantee the condition of any property or title. All risks are taken on by the certificate holder
- Bid carefully. There will be no cancellations for bidder error. All sales are final
- The lowest bid rate accepted and buyer number of the successful bidder will be entered into the tax collection database
- Tax certificates are issued by electronic listing rather than by individual document certificates
- Tax certificates accrue interest starting on the date the certificate is issued
- Tax certificates have a life of seven years from the date of issuance
- The Miami-Dade Tax Collector's office has the right to cancel any tax certificate that is not issued in accordance with Florida Statutes
- Tax payments will be accepted on advertised items any time before the tax certificate sale begins on June 1
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Internet auction?
An auction in which bids are sent and received electronically through the Internet using a computer and a web browser.
How is an Internet auction different from an in-person tax sale?
Before the Internet sale, bidders met in a large room and called out their bids to the auctioneer in a process lasting more than a month. An Internet sale allows this process to be handled electronically. Each bidder will use a personal ID and password to log on to the website and enter bids for individual tax certificates.
What equipment or software do I need to be able to participate in an Internet auction?
Many people choose one of the following browsers:
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
Will it cost me anything to participate in an Internet auction?
Bidders will be available to participate at no cost, with the exception of any deposit required by the tax collector.
How can I learn more about how to use the auction website?
The Tax Certificate Auction Website features an interactive demo. In order to view the demo, log in with your ID and password, and click "Auction Demo" on the Auction Selections page. The instructions are designed to lead users through the auction process.
What are the advantages of an Internet tax sale?
To the bidders:
- Easy access to underlying property and tax information from multiple public sources
- Bids can be submitted in the comfort and privacy of the user's home or office
- An extended timeframe during which the bidder can submit and review bids. A bidder does not have to worry about being "heard" by an auctioneer
- Unofficial results from an auction can be viewed immediately after the auction is over
To the Tax Collector:
- Substantial savings of time and money
- Internet platform allows users to bid from any location with an Internet connection, which can help to increase the number of bidders and the level of competition
How do I get started?
- Register on the website to receive a personal ID and password
- Review the Self Demo, Trial Auction or Guided Demo
- Complete and submit online IRS Form W-9
- Submit security deposit, as required
When are my bids due?
Bids can be submitted to the website once the Advertised List is published on the Internet, which is usually in early May. Bids can be withdrawn or changed at any point up to the closing of the batch.
What is a batch?
Batches are auction subgroups of the Advertised List that organize tax certificates to make the bid submission process easier. Each tax certificate in each batch is auctioned separately and arranged in order with a unique auction closing time for each batch.
What is Proxy bidding?
- Proxy bidding is a form of competitive sale in which bidders input the minimum interest rate they are willing to accept for each certificate they would like to purchase. At the close of each batch, the auction system, acting as an electronic agent for each bidder, compares minimum acceptable rates entered by all bidders for each individual certificate. When there is more than one bidder, the final bids consist of the minimum rates entered by all bidders except the winner, whose final bid will be equal to the second lowest minimum rate minus 0.25 percent, unless there is a bid at 0 percent, in which case the winner will be awarded at 0 percent
- In the case of a tie at the winning bid rate, the system awards to one of the winners through a random selection process using a random number generator
- In no case will a bidder be awarded a certificate are a rate lower than his specified minimum acceptable rate
- Certificates that receive no bids will be struck to the County at 18 percent
What happens if the delinquent taxes are paid after my bid is submitted but before the batch closes?
Since bids can be entered at any time after the list of delinquent properties is posted and the Tax Collector will continue to accept payments through the month of May each year, this can happen. The website is updated daily to reflect all received payments.
If the payment was received before the sale started, the certificate is canceled. Winning bids on certificates with taxes paid either before or after a batch closed will be canceled and winning bidders will receive either a credit to the unused portion of their budget or a refund.
How do I submit my security deposit and pay for the certificates purchased?
All security deposits and certificates purchases will be paid by Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit.
What is an ACH debit?
- An ACH debit is an electronic funds transfer from your bank account initiated by the Tax Collector with your authorization. For more information on ACH, visit National Automated Clearing House Association's (NACHA) website, the Electronic Payments Association
- Funds must be drawn from a U.S. financial institution. Some types of money market, brokerage or trust accounts cannot accept ACH debits. Check with your financial institution before making a payment on the website
When do bidders have to pay the amount due for their purchases?
After the last batch closes, the Tax Collector will balance and review the results of the sale. The Tax Collector then sends a notice to each buyer of awarded certificates, giving them 48 hours from the mailing of that notice to pay the remaining balance. Buyers will also be sent an electronic version of the letter on the same date.
What happens if I fail to pay the balance within the period indicated?
A buyer who fails to pay the remaining balance within the specified time frame will result in the cancellation of all awarded certificates, which will be offered for resale. Deposits will not be refunded.
What happens to my deposit if I don't win any certificates or if my deposit was more than I was awarded?
Any unused portions of the deposit will be refunded by check or ACH to your bank institution.